Creation Story: Flood, Whale & Turtle


During the flood Yidumduma tells in full Wardaman language two stories not shared in the previous Creation Story telling. The Story varies with each telling but the core remains a constant. A Lightning Lady is swallowed by a whale and survives with the help of the Red Ant Doctors. This clip is from the archive of CAAMA, Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association, and used with their permission.

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(We have done some editing here of CAAMA subtitles to be consistent with YDP clips.)

Later on, one old Lightning Lady was sitting on top of a hill.
She saw a big whale approaching the place where she sat.
He was floating on the water. Then the Lady fell off the hill right into the water.
The whale came over to check out the old Lightning Lady...he swallowed her all up!
Old Lightning said, "Kill that whale quickly, before he gets away with her."
He picked up a spear and threw it. He speared that whale completely dead.
Then they dragged that whale back onto dry land. She was still inside the whale's belly.
They picked up a stone knife and split his belly cleanly.
They dragged the old Lady out, but she was already dead.
All the little doctors were just sitting around, the little Ant Doctors,
they were sitting over there, doctors.
"You try to fix the old Lady with your hands, because she's dead", the Lightning People said.
The doctors said, "Yes, leave her here." The doctors cleaned her body of all the muck.
Then they used their teeth to pinch her all over.
As the Ants pinched her, she started to breathe. The old lady came to life, she was alright.
Another Lightning Boy was sitting up high.
As he looked out, he saw a turtle floating on the salt water.
The Lightning Boy fell into the water.
The turtle swam up to the boy and swallowed him into his belly.
The turtle swam away with the Boy in his belly.
At this time, the salt water was drifting away fast.
The little turtle was swept along by the water, but with the Boy in his belly...
he was too heavy,and sank down into the mud.
"I don't know what I'll do with this Boy in my belly", the little turtle said.
Then the Willy Wagtail Boy came along and saw the Creation Dog lying down.
That's when he split the dog's ear. The Dog sang out.
That's when all these here ended up on the rock.
That's when the little turtle went into the rock with the little Boy in his belly, down there. 
All these you see here, all the Lightning People, they went onto the rock in the Creation Time.
They gave us all these stories.
This mob have said, "We'll leave these stories, we're passing them on to you,
so you can pass them on to your children.
Don't throw them away (forget), follow the Dreamings right through."
All these engravings you can see here, just like the others in other places.
These mob made them all. Our fathers and our uncles told us about them.
"These mob here made the stories". "All these stories are to be passed on to your children".
That's what they told us. These are the stories we tell all the little ones,
we tell them, "You've got to follow it, don't throw it away."
These are the stories the children now listen to. This is what we say.
These two you can see here, are not the only ones.
There are many others all around. Lightnings, from all around left tribal marks like these.
They left them for all of us. Then they went up onto the rock face.
They've been there since the Creation Time.

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